(BLACK PR WIRE)(April 21, 2009) In today’s society, financial freedom is becoming the new “American Dream.” Everyday thousands commit to developing a lifestyle that will propel them to this reality. Whether it’s forming a strict budget, cutting up credit cards or eating at restaurants less often, the reality of wise spending is finally setting in for some. However, at times it seems that Black America just doesn’t quite get “it!”
America is facing tough economic times and blacks are facing even tougher times. Census reports state the unemployment rate among blacks is 10.8%, opposed to whites which are only 4.7%. Despite the facts, blacks are actually spending more instead of saving or investing more. According to Target Market, a company that tracks black consumer spending, blacks spends a significant amount of their income on depreciable products. Of this array of goods, cars and clothes are among the top items.
The time is now for blacks to reverse this pattern of destructive spending behavior and wise up! Overindulgence in the purchase of depreciable products reflects motivation for instant gratification and social acceptance. Unfortunately, short-term rewards come at the expense of our future. African-American teens are already mimicking the spending behaviors of adults. Studies have shown that African-American teenagers spend six percent more per month or $5,136 per year, than the average American teen.
One wise way blacks can increase appreciable spending habits is through home ownership. Owning a home is a tangible investment that yields financial rewards. Currently, black home ownership is at an all-time high from years prior. However, percentages still are not where they need to be. “Black home ownership rates are still more than 25 percentage points below those of whites,” says Lance Freeman, Columbia University Assistant Professor, and Urban Planning Program. So to close this gap, blacks should consider purchasing a home opposed to renting.
Although keeping up with the Jones’ may entail the purchase of trendy cars and clothes, investing in a home is the wisest way to compete. This also presents a model to teach African-American youth which investments are really worth the spending!
Sometimes stating your desire for financial freedom and actually taking the steps to get there, turn into an “easier said than done” clich. But truthfully, there is one simple strategy you can put into practice starting today! Before pulling out that cash, swiping the card or placing your John Hancock on that check, ask yourself—“Is this purchase a need or a want?” If you conclude after pondering this question that the product is truly a want, make the decision to be responsible and take control of detrimental spending habits right then. Get closer to conquering the new “American Dream.” Wise spending is not only self empowerment, its community empowerment! So “wise up” today!